“I kill a communist for fun” ~Tony Montana, Scarface~
That was a classic quote from the movie, Scarface. Tony Montana’s character was a criminal in Cuba, and he had no love for Fidel Castro or his government. He called himself a “political prisoner”, but as we all remember from the movie, he was nothing more than a drug dealer and a murderer.
Unfortunately too many leaders in our history have had a similar simplistic view of the Fidel Castro government like the fictional character from the Scarface movie.
Personally, I tend to disagree with Tony’s assessment of the Cuban leader, and I am glad for the president’s historic trip to Cuba today. I have never understood the trade embargo and sanctions against Cuba for all these years when we were trading with the Chinese and Russians for crying out loud.
I remember as a kid in Jamaica, listening to one of Fidel Castro’s speeches, I didn’t know a word of Spanish, but even before the interpreter told us what he was saying, I remember cheering my ass off. He was that charismatic.
Maybe it’s because the man who I consider one of the greatest leaders in history, Michael Manley, had to turn to Fidel at a time when the American government and the West turned their backs on the Jamaican people, as we tried to cope with the draconian benchmarks for the country’s recovery set by the IMF.
It was Castro and the Cuban government that gave Jamaica micro- dams, adult literacy, trained physicians ,quality health care, and innovative teaching methods that merged education and sports.
And, if that wasn’t enough, it was the Cuban government and Fidel Castro who helped to end Apartheid in South Africa . It was also Cuban soldiers who fought alongside the Angolan people in their fight for liberation.
Throw in the fact that the people who were in Cuba —who didn’t have a pot to piss in before the revolution— look more like I do than Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and you can see where I am coming from. Afro Cubans didn’t flee to Miami with their riches, because they had no riches.
Barack Obama and his family going to Havana sends a powerful message to those Cubans living on the island and to the world.
It is a message that is long overdue.
Now if you will excuse me I have a cigar to smoke.
*Pic from AP.